Citi's Credit-Card Chief to Exit in Consumer Bank Shake-Up

(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. is restructuring its consumer-banking operation in a shake-up that includes the departure of its global credit-card chief.

Judson Linville, who ran the world’s largest portfolio of credit-card loans, is leaving as the bank merges that business with its wealth and retail units in the U.S., according to an internal memo Monday from Stephen Bird, who leads Citigroup’s global consumer bank.

Bird’s changes bring to the U.S. a model he oversaw while running the company’s Asia operations, before he was appointed to his current role in 2015. The bank often chooses Asia to test new consumer offerings such as branches and digital products. North America consumer revenue growth slowed to 1 percent last quarter from 4 percent in the previous three months, and Citigroup has struggled to meet targets for its U.S. branded-card business.

“This action aligns the U.S. franchise with the regional model deployed in Asia and Mexico, where we have seen the benefits of cross-product synergies, greater collaboration and accelerated speed-to-market and decision-making,” Bird said in the memo.

Citi's Credit-Card Chief to Exit in Consumer Bank Shake-Up

Citigroup makes almost half its revenue from the consumer bank, and about 60 percent of that comes from the U.S. The lender has renewed its focus on the consumer business in recent months, announcing plans earlier this year to debut a national digital banking product in the U.S.

Year-over-year revenue growth from the consumer operations slowed in the second quarter across the unit’s three main regions -- North America, Latin America and Asia, compared with the first three months of the year. Still, about two-thirds of Citigroup’s future revenue growth is expected to come from consumer operations in Asia and Mexico as well as its branded-cards business, according to analysts at Portales Partners.

The bank’s Mexico operations -- known locally as Citibanamex -- are the largest in the country by deposits and have the leading share of banking relationships there, according to the company. In Asia, Citigroup has set its sights on growing the unsecured lending portfolio and increasing its share among wealthy consumers.

Flat Revenue

Last year, Citigroup said it expected revenue from branded cards to increase about 3 percent a year between 2017 and 2020. But revenue from that business will probably be flat in 2018, Citigroup said earlier this year.

David Chubak, who leads retail banking globally, will also now run the bank’s global consumer-lending operations, Bird said in the memo. Chubak, 37, who helped push Citigroup’s recent foray into national digital banking, will oversee regional product heads for both retail banking and credit cards, according to the memo.

Anand Selva, 51, who leads the bank’s consumer business in Asia, will take a similar role in the U.S., charged with bringing the region’s credit card, retail banking and wealth management offerings into one area for the bank.

Linville, 60, joined Citigroup from American Express Co. in 2010 and helped the bank lure Costco Wholesale Corp.’s co-branded card offerings from his former employer. He also built Citigroup’s rewards offering into a global platform, Bird said in the memo.

“He leaves an exceptional foundation for continued growth,” Bird said. “Thanks to his leadership, and the talent he has attracted to Citigroup, our branded-cards franchise is well positioned for the future.”

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